You were experimenting with channel taps, cutting across the confidential channels. Like they teach you to do in communications. I happened to pick up a conversation between you and Robin Turner concerning the raid. Ed Boynton relaxed, settling back in his chair. I had cut across ten or twelve channels, holding each one for only a second.
I was using the Youth League equipment. All at once I recognized your voice. So I stayed on and caught the whole conversation. Have you set an exact date.
He carried it out onto the roof porch and put it down by the wood frame. How old are you. About eleven. He moved back toward the railing. Below, two or three stories down, was the street. Mr Murphy was walking along, coming home from the office. Some kids were playing at the corner.
A young woman across the street was watering her lawn, a blue sweater around her slim shoulders. He was fairly safe. Tommy said nothing. Presently Tommy glanced toward the wood frame covered with netting, then up at Billings. You wanted to see that. What are they.
Little carts to pull. Swings, slides. Things they could operate.
He could train them, and then charge admission. Swings, slides. Things they could operate. He could train them, and then charge admission. The next day he took one to school in his pocket, inside a fruit jar. He punched holes in the lid so it could breathe. At recess he showed it to Dave and Joan Grant. They were fascinated.
And on the surface homo sapiens slugged it out with the weapons we designed. We designed the weapons for them to fight the war. We gave them the weapons and they destroyed themselves. When the war ended the surface was fused, and nothing but ash and hydroglass and radioactive clouds remained. It had been accomplished. They were gone, wiped out.
And we had come to take their place. He turned in startled apprehension, snapping on the vidphone. Come down to my office. Harl did not move.
All nine. Some of his courage was returning. I heard you say so. They belong to me. My Dad and the cops.
He opened and shut his mouth, his face a dark, ugly red. Neither he nor Tommy spoke. He looked down at the ground, the crude circle and the marbles. His cold eyes flickered.
His fingers closed over something, a small thing that squirmed in fright, twisting in wild terror. He dropped it into the cigar box and sought another. In a moment he had them all. Nine of them, all nine in the wood cigar box. He closed the lid and slipped it back under his jacket. Quickly he left the porch, returning to the room. Billings glanced up vaguely from his work, pen in one hand, papers in the other. Tommy shook his head.
But you just came! Tommy shut the door behind him. He ran down the stairs, outside on the porch. Against his chest the cigar box shook and moved. All nine of them. He had them all. Now they were his.
He passed a big supermarket. Out in front was a bin of fruit, oranges and grapes. He picked a grape and bit into it. The grape was real, all right.
A big black concord grape, sweet and ripe. Paine entered one of the drugstores. He leafed through some magazines and then sat down at the counter. Paine sat drinking his coffee and smoking, idly watching the people passing by outside. Ordinary people.
The little man had ceased to exist. Like a light he went out. Completely. No sound. No motion.
About five. If he reappears I want to talk to him. Get him inside the office.
He yanked it closed. As the scene dissolved the dots swept past. Then there was nothing but grayness outside. In their ears the roar of the two planes still echoed. No more observation stops.
The Project itself comes next. I can begin to slow down the velocity of the ship. This is going to be critical. We must hit his continuum exactly, both in space as well as time.
Watch Jon constantly from now on. Do you understand. As soon as he was in the sky he clicked on the vidscreen and dialed the League Offices. The face of the League Monitor appeared. Presently Walter Timmer, the medical director, appeared on the screen. His eyes flickered as he recognized Ryan. You recall, I think. I want it performed before I leave.
Pryor is the best lobotomist the center has. Pryor is the best lobotomist the center has. Or can we move around.